BEIJING, Sept. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Zhong Nanshan, an academician of the Chinese
Academy of Engineering and a hero in fighting against SARS, warned that a
large-scale global-wide outbreak of flu is likely to happen at any time given
the current conditions.
"But we can't pin down a specific time for the outbreak so far," Zhong was
quoted as saying by Wednesday's Information Time.
He said a global flu generally takes place every 20 to 50 years and now the
time is more than 20 years after the flu outbreak last time.
"It's bird flu that renders the current situation so serious," said Zhong,
fearing a mutated flu viruses might present a more dangerous threat.
"To date, we still can't tell whether bird flu viruses can join human flu
viruses to create some viruses that could live easier inside humans," he said.
"The case could be still more terrible if one contracts both human and bird
flu at the same time," he said.
"If there are some viruses that are able to jump from human to human, I'm
afraid that could pose a catastrophic disaster for human beings."
He recommended people get inoculated against the flu during the September-October
period, the time immediately before flu outbreak season.
The old, children, patients and medical workers, who have proved to be
particularly vulnerable to infection, are strongly suggested to take inoculate
bacterins as earlier as possible, he said.
According to Zhong, flu viruses mutate almost every year. This year, "the a
type viruses would be H1N1 and H3N2 ones and the B type be Shanghai viruses."
Mutation means the antibodies created by bacterins taken in the past may not
ward off new flu strains, he said.
"Inoculation is the most effective way to prevent flu contraction," he said. Enditem